Google announced that its Safe Browsing service now protects more than 3 billion desktop and mobile devices. According to a Tech Crunch news report, the new numbers are an increase from 1 billion in 2013 and 2 billion that was reported in May 2016.
Launched in 2007 as a feature of the company’s search engine, Safe Browsing is an anti-malware tool that keeps Chrome, Safari and Firefox users from visiting potentially dangerous sites. Safari and Firefox have since adopted the service, as have web and app developers, such as Snapchat.
Google just activated Safe Browsing as a default feature for the Google Chrome browser for Android in 2015, so that definitely played a role in the surge in numbers.
The company said that the feature uses machine learning to detect “more badness,” and that it is “continually evaluating and integrating cutting-edge new approaches to improve Safe Browsing.”
"Over the last few years, we've rethought how Safe Browsing delivers data," Google's Stephan Somogyi and Allison Miller wrote in a blog post. "We built new technologies to make its data as compact as possible: We only send the information that's most protective to a given device, and we make sure this data is compressed as tightly as possible."
Last fall, a report found that the Safe Browser Service made it easier for websites to fight security issues as soon as they appear. It also expanded the Security Issues report to give website operators more information and explanations about any security problems found by Google, including malware, deceptive pages and harmful downloads.
In addition to the reports, the Safe Browsing console provides recommendations for different actions that website operators can take, as well as sample URLs they can use to locate the source of the issue.